Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
A former groom who fondled a female racehorse at Arlington Park Racetrack avoided a prison term Wednesday when a Cook County judge instead placed him on probation and ordered him to undergo counseling.
Esbin Cal-Orozco, 29, had faced up to three years in prison after being convicted last month of having sexual contact with an animal.
“I believe this defendant is in dire need of counseling,” Judge Thomas Fecarotta said as he sentenced Cal-Orozco to two years of probation and ordered him into sex offender counseling.
Cal-Orzoco also received credit for the nearly five months he has been jailed since his arrest last September after he fondled the filly in her stall at the suburban racetrack.
He was arrested after another track worker noticed the horse tied oddly in her stall, with several hay bales and buckets lined up behind her, authorities said. Cal-Orzoco admitted to police that he had improperly touched the horse.
The horse wasn’t injured and has continued to race, authorities said.